State Sen. Sharif Street (D-3rd Dist.) joined Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Russel Redding to announce the state’s first Urban Agriculture Grant Fund enacted through Sen. Street’s Urban Ag legislation in Act 40 of 2019.
“There are tremendous opportunities for urban farmers who often turn blight into community gardens providing access to locally sourced fresh food and combatting the food insecurity that plagues many of our communities.” Street said.
The grant program opens August 1, 2019 and closes September 15, 2019 and is the first comprehensive farm bill package to invest in agriculture across the Commonwealth, including the first ever Urban Agriculture Grant Fund. It includes microgrants for one-time projects or a single entity applicant and collaboration grants.
The senator was joined by the Philadelphia Dept. of Parks & Recreation, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and dozens from community gardens around Philadelphia.
Secretary Redding praised the first of its kind grant and honored Hansberry Farms, the host site.
“Urban agriculture is about more than just growing food; it’s about growing communities. It’s about bringing people together over a shared purpose and passion,” said Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding, “The targeted investments we are making through the urban agriculture grant program will only further strengthen those connections in tangible and meaningful ways.”
The new fund will offer reimbursement grants for projects that focus on developing urban farms and market opportunities. Grants will be awarded to improve agriculture infrastructure in urban areas, the aggregation of product, sharing of resources, and support for community development efforts. The event was followed by a tour The Kelly-GREEN Project, the re-imagined John B. Kelly Elementary School grounds, winner of the 2019 Excellence in GSI Award for Innovation.